Investigators searched the Newark apartment building where they thought the suspect in the shooting of two Newark police officers was hiding, only to find that the man was nowhere to be found.
Police have identified the wanted person as 30-year-old Kendall Howard of East Orange.
Police say he shot at officers around 2 a.m. in Newark at Van Velsor Place and Chancellor Avenue. They are trying to arrest a suspect for a different shooting, CBS2’s Kevin Rincon reported.
The injured officer is recovering at University Hospital.
Police were called to the apartment building after a resident identified a man linked to a shooting from last week. Officers searched through the building, did not find the suspect, and began to leave. That’s when they found him in the parking lot, and got into a fight.
For hours, police from far and wide, including the FBI and ATF, kept residents locked in their homes.
“It was horrible. At first, I thought it was firecrackers, but then, because there were so many, then I realized what it was,” said witness Rosalind Reeves.
Newark Mayor Ras Baraka said residents called police after identifying the shooting suspect seen on a wanted flyer. A few minutes later, officers were searching the apartment building. When they left, that’s when they found the suspect in the parking lot.
“The gentleman pulled out a gun, shot two police officers at close range. The gun shot returned, the fire returned. The gentleman retreated back to the building,” said Baraka.
That’s what caused the huge response. Officers on the ground, even on the rooftops, keep their eyes peeled for the gunman.
Officers were rushed to the hospital.
“One was shot through the face to his shoulder. He is in the hospital, had surgery. He is in a stable condition. They are keeping him overnight. Another officer was shot in the leg. He is also in the hospital in a stable condition,”. Newark Public Safety Director Fritz Fragé said.
The suspect then ran back inside, but after almost eight hours of searching, the police came up empty-handed.
“The perpetrators are not in the building. There is an active warrant now for the perpetrators to come out now,” said Fragé.
“This remains an active investigation. We ask for the cooperation and participation of our public in helping to identify and locate the location of Mr. Howard. But thanks to our federal partners and our state, county, and local partnerships, I believe that all the necessary resources are assigned, ” said Attorney General Matthew Platkin.
Meanwhile, many who watched their neighborhood turn into a crime scene were upset.
“How do they expect people and their children to be safe here after that? And he’s still around?” a man asked. “If everyone can’t do it, someone else will.”
“I’ve been standing here since 3:15 pm. I’m angry and sad that something like this happened in this neighborhood,” said building resident Victoria Emeghara-Owoo.